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Significant economic burden from diabetes


Diabetes cost $ 1.3 trillion
Diabetes is one of the most common metabolic diseases worldwide. The disease causes not only health damage but also far-reaching economic damage. In a recent study, an international team of researchers with the participation of scientists from the University of Göttingen has determined the global costs of diabetes. For 2015, this amounts to $ 1.31 trillion.

According to the researchers, the economic burdens caused by the estimated 420 million diabetes diseases worldwide amounted to around 1.8 percent of global economic output in 2015. The substantial sum of $ 1.3 trillion in follow-up costs of the disease is the result of current calculations. This shows how serious the economic burden of diabetes is. The results of the study were published in the specialist journal "The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology".

So far, indirect indirect costs of diabetes have not been recorded
When doctors talk about the consequences of diabetes, the focus is usually on topics such as foot amputations or neuropathies. But in addition to the health consequences of the disease, there are also economic losses that have so far been insufficiently determined. "Earlier estimates mostly only depicted the direct costs of diabetes, i.e. the health expenditure for insulin, test strips or the treatment of complications," explains the economist Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer from the University of Göttingen. Therefore, the follow-up costs of the disease were only recorded to a limited extent.

Poor countries are also at high cost from diabetes
For the new study, the scientists have now also included the indirect costs, such as production losses caused by mortality and morbidity. "According to this, the global economy lost a total of $ 455 billion in 2015 as a result of deaths, disability, illness and reduced productivity," reports the University of Göttingen. Not only were the costs in industrialized countries such as Germany or the USA relatively high at 1.6 percent and 2.6 percent of the respective national economic output, but also many countries with low or middle incomes were burdened with high costs.

Diabetes also widespread in India and China
"Type 2 diabetes in particular is often seen as a disease of affluence," explains co-author Christian Bommer from the University of Göttingen. Many people are not aware that the incidence of diabetes in India and China has now reached levels similar to those in Europe. Overall, the determined economic costs of diabetes are much higher in the study than in previous studies, which also shows that the indirect costs should not be ignored, otherwise the extent of the problem would be significantly underestimated, Prof. Vollmer. (fp)

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